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Most N.W.T. government employees to work from home starting Thursday

The Northwest Territories' largest employer is set to send home most of its employees beginning later this week.

Employees deemed to be providing 'critical services' will report as normal, memo reads

The N.W.T. Legislative Assembly in Yellowknife. All territorial government employees not considered critical will work from home starting on Thursday as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government noted in a memo Tuesday. (Trevor Lyons/CBC)

The Northwest Territories' largest employer is set to send home most of its employees beginning later this week.

In a memo to staff, the government of the Northwest Territories announced Tuesday that the "majority of [government] employees will be asked to work from home until further notice," starting on Thursday, March 19.

According to the memo, employees "deemed to be providing critical services requiring on site presence" will report to work as normal, while all other employees will work from home. 

Those employees who are expected to work on-site will be contacted by management by 9 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18.

The territorial government's workforce totals 5,000 people, according to its website. It is not immediately clear what percentage of employees will be affected by the notice.

All employees will continue to be paid "regardless of the particular circumstance," according to the memo, whether it be through regular time or a form of paid leave — if the employee is self-isolating, ill, caring for an ill dependent, or providing child care.

The memo asks for patience from employees as the government transitions to a work-from-home model and notes that management "will be as flexible as possible while ensuring continued essential government operations and services to residents of the NWT."

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